Edward Hitchcock said harvest had been a ‘nightmare’ on the Essex/Herts border, but was now going steady through the last 240ha (600acres) of a total 1200ha (3000acres).

He said quality held out remarkably well despite the weather, even in wheat cut last week (w/e 27 Aug). “Cordiale has been especially good and even crops cut last week met full specification. Richmond and Gladiator is left now but it is still mostly standing. But crops are knackered if they are flat.”

Yields had been satisfactory and specific weights were still at 76-77kg/hl so he was pleased. Overall quality was good, and he was “pleasantly surprised” by Richmond.

“I’ve heard some soft wheats have sprouted and the big boys still have plenty to do but the smaller farms finished a while ago. We still have quite a lot of wheat to cut but it is slowly being eaten into.”

Mr Hitchcock said wheat was still very wet, with most coming in at 19-20% moisture. He was just about to start cutting again at 18.6% today.

He added: “It has been a long slog. We had exactly 2000 acres (800ha) left on August 2 and 20 days later we still had 1000 acres (400ha), which we would normally have got done in five days. It has been one of those years, but it will all get done.”

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Area: 1200ha (3000acres)
• Variety: Cordiale, Richmond, Gladiator
• Yield: Satisfactory
• Quality: Bushel weight 76-77kg/hl, moisture 19-20%